Clinic, April 17th, 2013
Ruth dropped by to the clinic yesterday. She has her OHIP now, and her Canadian status. But it wasn’t always that way. She also has her new husband, and her newborn child. Ruth dropped in to say hello. We were so happy to reconnect.
We first met Ruth about 8 years ago. She arrived in Canada as a refugee claimant. Rwanda, her native home land, had betrayed Ruth. The racial, religious, tribal, and brutal conflicts took everything from her. They took her children, and family, and hacked them to death in front of her.
Ruth left. She came to Canada. She filed a refugee claim. We ( Canada) didn’t make that easy. No slam dunk here. God only knows why? The IRB ( Immigration and Refugee Board) is a national disgrace. Has been for a long time. Laced with pork barrel political appointees over the years, it understands little of what it adjudicates in many cases. It is rife for political persuasion. It is, a joke.
Healthcare dried up for this brave but mentally broken soul. As others do, Ruth drifted into the shadows. Her seizures, worsened by the horrific traumas escalated out of control. Her moods plummeted into a depression and PTSD abyss.
And yet, through it all, Ruth’s spirit prevailed. Some Canadians cared. Her social worker at the Centre for Victim’s of Torture arranged pro bono mental healthcare. God Bless them. The CVC lent a hand with her epilepsy care. Her neurologist waived her fees. How could we not?
A few years ago we learned that Ruth found a new mate in Toronto. A gentle man sent by a different reality. Together, they delivered a baby – a beautiful baby girl. Last night, Ruth brought her Canadian baby, her child, all limbs attached, to see us, to be introduced, to touch and hold. Ruth’s tearful smile was all that was needed.
Ruth lives in Toronto with her child and husband. She smiles more. She is legally in Canada now. She can vote.
The CIC had the power then to deny Ruth, 8 years ago. Why do they need more power now? That power apparently is no match for the power of the human spirit to survive, and thrive. Mr Kenney and the Conservatives don’t stand a chance against it, never will, thank God. All they can do is try to weaken a nation. And it seems they cannot succeed at that, fortunately.
Maybe it is true? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Regardless, Canada is stronger because Ruth is here. We are stronger because she reminds us what courage is all about, and what the human spirit is capable of.
I feel ashamed when I get overwhelmed by the clinic, and some nights wish I could be at home resting.